Sunday, March 15, 2015

Berowne's 261A

(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "J" is for "Joys of Summer")   

Here’s another in the series “Berowne’s Mediocre Adventures”

Tess Kincaid likes to travel, so this week instead of a quiz I thought I’d offer a travel suggestion to her or anyone else in our blogger community who enjoys travelling.

Enroll at Oxford!  A perfect summer vacation; I did it myself. 
Here’s Berowne at Oxford a few decades ago. 
By the way, this is not some kind of annoying advertisement.  I have no connection with Oxford and I don’t stand to make any money on the deal.  It’s just that I found it a painless and unforgettable experience and thought others might too. 
Now, you understand, you don’t enroll as an actual student.  You just take summer classes.  (I took Shakespeare.)  For over 100 years the Oxford University Summer School for Adults program has been making it possible for everyone to take advantage of courses there. 


The joys of summer.   One of them is lying on a beach; another is the joy of pursuing your studies at a world-famous university.


 
I was at New College, Oxford.  The hushed beauty of the campus calls attention to its name: “New,” though it was established in 1379. 
Up on the wall in the dining hall is a portrait of the Reverend Spooner, Warden of New College for years.  He is famous for “spoonerisms,” because he was prone to deliver talks that mixed up consonants and vowels in fairly hilarious arrangements. 
Examples: “The Lord is a shoving leopard.”  “Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?”  The word spoonerism has lasted right up to our time: “Resident Pagan.” 
Having spent a summer there, your reputation as a name-dropper is greatly increased.  In the future while engaged in any conversation, on almost any topic, you’ll be able to casually toss off the phrase “When I was at Oxford…” thus getting everyone’s undivided attention. J 
 
 

26 comments:

Roger Owen Green said...

You're so wise, we all assume you went to Oxford full time!

Kathe W. said...

ah hah! What a great idea! And I'll be practicing "spoonerisms" on my family til they beg for mercy! Have a great week!

Rene Foran said...

I do enjoy a good spoonerism!

Bekkie Sanchez said...

Sounds great! I have done the same but not a such an awesome place! I can never guess (only a few times) your clever prompts. I expect to see an Owl with glasses (wise) if I ever meet you in person. ♥

Karen S. said...

Oh gosh, your picture is really cool inserted! You are so full of wisdom and humor! It always unfolds in your little quizzes too!

Old Egg said...

I too spent some time at New College Oxford...well in a B & B opposite its entrance gate. It greatly added to my education!

Berowne said...

Interesting. Possible we were both there at the same time.

Berowne said...

To Karen S: A marvelous comment like yours is a great way to start the week; thanx.

ninotaziz said...

Did you keep a straight face at those spoonerisms? I smiled to myself and regretfully note - will my kids ever get to savor such experience?

Thanks for sharing Sir Berowne. Your marvelous snippets and take on the most revered events and places are priceless. Always.

Rommy said...

I was in England once a long time ago. LOL, my tour bus may have driven past Oxford.

Reader Wil said...

When I was young my wish was to attend a summerclass in Oxford or at the "Other" Place. The thing was : I had hardly any money so I went to summer workcamps.My sister, who joined me, and I cycled from Dover to Longwell Green, which is between Bristol and Bath.
I like your post and especially the part about spoonerism, for we do it a lot but then in Dutch of course.

Berowne said...

A spoonerism in Dutch - the mind boggles. :-)

Marie said...

Nice post! How exciting to take a summer course in Shakespeare at Oxford! There are many joys of summer, and a summer course would definitely be one!

Hildred said...

Great post - envy you your experience at Oxford and your exposure to spoonerisms.

ellen b said...

Well, when I was at Oxford I walked about New College. What a wonderful way to spend a summer. I want to go back to Oxford and stay for at least 5 days as a tourist. So much to see and enjoy...

Lmkazmierczak said...

Delightful anecdote...enjoyed my visit♪

Anita said...

Spoonerisms are interesting :)
Have read a couple of them! Have been responsible for some too! :)

I love the last line! that's true!
"When I was at Oxford..."
You have our attention!
Do share more posts!!!

Happy week!

Trubes said...

I went to Oxford on the way to visit our daughter in London, most interesting place to visit... The posh way to announce that you had indeed studied at Oxford is to say, 'When I was up at Oxford'.
I learned of the Rev. Spooner when I was at Liverpool University, although, I wasn't 'up', as it was just down the road!
Spooner was very clever with his 'isms' though wasn't he, I'm pretty sure he knew what he was saying when he mixed his words up!
Just too clever for words!

Best wishes,
Di.
ABCW team.

Sheilagh Lee said...

that's a great idea.

Cat-tails: here be wagging tales said...

I love the sleepy Oxford halls of Inspector Morris and Lewis. Lucky you to have studied on such a pretty campus!

keiths ramblings said...

I would love to attend a Summer School at Oxford. What's stopping me?...hmmm!

Tess Kincaid said...

I felt like I was in a British novel over there...love hearing about your time spent, Mr. B.

Helena said...

I sometimes use spoonerism in passwords - makes it a bit easier to remember in fun form. On the down side I once got in trouble at high school for wearing a "I get my mucking words fuddled" badge on my blazer.

Berowne said...

A blazer that really blazed...

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I'm not much of a student anymore but I think I'd be willing to take a class at Oxford.:-)

Doctor FTSE said...

Didn't Rev. Spooner, at a college dinner, propose a toast - "Gentlemen, be upstanding and drink to the health of our queer old Dean."

 
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